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If you are still in the relationship:

  • Find a safe place if an argument happens. Avoid rooms with no exits or with weapons, like kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Create a list of safe people to contact – friends and family who’ll come to your aid when you need it.
  • Make sure you have change with you at all times (for public phones).
  • Memorise all important numbers.
  • Establish a “code word” or “sign” so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help.
  • Think about what you will say to your partner if he/she becomes violent.

If you have left the relationship:

  • Change your number immediately.
  • Screen your calls whenever possible.
  • Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer.
  • Change locks, if your abuser has a key.
  • Stay with someone. Whatever you do, don’t stay alone.
  • Have a getaway plan or route if you’re confronted by your abuser.
  • Meetups with your abuser should happen ONLY in public places.
  • Vary your routine.
  • Notify school and work contacts.
  • Call a shelter for battered women.

If you leave the relationship or are thinking of leaving, you should take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits or take legal action. You should bring:

  • Your identification documents (including driver’s license and registration)
  • Your birth certificate
  • My birth certificate(s)
  • Social security cards (if any)
  • School documents
  • ATM card, credit cards
  • Keys – house/car/office
  • Passport(s)
  • Medical records
  • Bank books, insurance papers
  • Online account passwords (if needed)
  • Pay slips or other documentation of your income

If you need immediate assistance, call your nearest Domestic Violence, Rape or Abuse Helpline. For a list of resources by country, go here.

To create your own safety plan, print out our Domestic Violence Checksheet.


Additional Resources and Reading